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Maldives sets new date for local elections, reopens candidacy applications

Fathmath Shaahunaz
09 January 2017, MVT 10:31
Elections Commission (EC)'s secretary general speaks at press conference. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
09 January 2017, MVT 10:31

The Elections Commission (EC) has decided to hold the delayed Local Council Elections on April 8 and announced they will open applications for candidates again on Monday.

The Civil Court had ordered the EC to postpone the Local Council Elections, originally scheduled to be held January 14, by two months after ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) had filed for a delay, saying that recent political disputes within the party had hindered PPM’s preparations for the elections on time.

The commission had decided on April as the new date for the elections last week and shared their new schedule and timeline for the elections with political parties in an emergency meeting with the elections’ National Advisory Committee last Wednesday.

In a press conference late Sunday, the EC announced that they will open applications for candidates to run for the elections again on Monday. The commission’s Vice President Amjad Musthafa said the original notice announcing the Local Council Elections has been terminated as per the Civil Court order and the new notice will be announced Monday.

Hence, the 900 candidates that have already turned in their applications for the elections prior to the delay must apply again. Candidacy applications will be open until February 6.

However, noting the commission’s vow during the National Advisory Committee meeting to facilitate the easiest procedures for the current candidates, the EC stated that they will allow candidates to reuse certain documentations submitted in the original applications this time as well, such as their criminal records and independent candidates’ signatures and other writings.

EC member Ahmed Akram also announced that the commission will open applications for elections’ observers, monitors, representatives and re-registration again. He added that people who have already been re-registered need not register again unless their place of voting has changed.

The EC also vowed to be unbiased and fair to all political parties in the Local Council Elections procedures.

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